Archive for June, 2013

Scrappers Game Features Rehab Appearances By Indians Myers And Wood


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers welcomed Cleveland Indians Brett Myers and Blake Wood to Eastwood Field to do some rehab work and pitch an inning each against live hitting.  Neither pitcher factored into the decision, as the Scrappers fell 2-1 to the Auburn Doubledays.

Scrappers Manager Ted Kubiak started a reliever, Alexis Paredes.  Then Myers and Wood pitched an inning each.  Rob Whitenack, the scheduled starter, entered the game in the fourth.  Scrappers catcher Martin Cervenka had a lot on his plate for the first four innings, having to adapt to each pitcher.

Myers (top photo), who has racked up eleven years of Major League experience, has been on the  DL since April.  He worked a scoreless second inning and recorded a strikeout.  Indians Manager, Terry Francona, said upon his return to the big team, Myers will pitch out of the bullpen.

Righty Blake Wood (below), who is on the 60-Day DL, worked a scoreless third inning for the Scrappers.  After the first two Doubleday batters reached base, Wood got out of a jam with the help of a double play.


The Doubledays put up a run in the first inning.  Alexis Paredes gave up a double to Isaac Ballou.  The Doubledays’ David Masters then moved Ballou to third on a groundout.  Ballou would score when Jordan Poole slapped a single to right.

The Scrappers tied the game in the bottom of the sixth inning.  Juan Romero collected his second hit of the night, a double.  Romero moved to third on a wild pitch from Doubledays reliever, Todd Simko.  Robel Garcia bounced one into right field to make it a 1-1 game.

Auburn regained the lead in their very next at-bat.  James Yezzo singled to right to lead off the inning.  Yezzo got to third courtesy of a wild pitch and a flyout to right.  Jean Carlos Valdez then singled to left to plate Yezzo and hand Auburn a 2-1 lead.


The Scrappers had some action in the bottom of the seventh inning.  Josh McAdams hit a ground rule double and moved to third on a single by Nick Hamilton.  Romero was unable to capitalize for the Scrappers as the inning ended with a harmless groundout.

David Napoli pitched a strong eighth inning that saw the Scrappers manage to get a baserunner via hit-by-pitch, but struck out Nellie Rodriguez to end the threat.

Whitenack took the hard-luck loss for the Scrappers, who did not provide much in the way of run support.  The Scrappers mustered six hits but the situational hitting was poor.

These two teams will hook it up again for the series finale on Tuesday.

Scrappers Open 15th Season On Sour Note


The Mahoning Valley Scrappers opened their 15th season of existence on Monday night at Eastwood Field.  The Jamestown Jammers didn’t give the Scrappers much to celebrate in handing the home team a 5-0 setback in front of a good crowd of 5,531.

Scrapper starter Luis Lugo (below) pitched five innings scattering five hits, one of them a home rub to Dan Collins to start the second inning.  That run would be all that Lugo would yield, yet exited the game trailing 1-0.

The Scrappers had a chance to hit the scoreboard in the third inning with runners at first and third with nobody out.  Jamestown starter Isaac Sanchez was able to wiggle out of the inning without giving up a run.  Sanchez struck out Juan Romero for the first out.  Scrapper leadoff hitter, Tyler Booth then tried to lay down a squeeze bunt that resulted in an inning-ending double play as Martin Cervenka was thrown out at home after starting the inning with a double (top photo).


Jamestown put together a productive seventh inning.  Jin-De Jhang reached when Scrapper left fielder, Josh McAdams, dropped a fly ball.  Jhang advanced to second on a wild pitch by Scrapper reliever James Stokes.  Jhang later scored on a clean single to center by Edwin Espinal to make it 2-0 Jammers.  The Scrappers were fortunate to escape the seventh giving up just the single, unearned run.

In the bottom of the seventh, Juan Herrera doubled to start the frame.  He would advance to third on McAdams infield single.  Ryan Battaglia drew a walk to load the bases.  Robel Garcia popped out to third for the first out.  Battaglia was then picked off of first base by the Jammers catcher Jhang.  Cervenka struck out to end the inning.


Joshua Nervis relieved Stokes for the Scrappers in the eighth inning and Rafael Homblert threw the ninth.

Elvis Escobar had three singles to lead the Jammers 14-hit attack.  In the eighth inning, he reached on his third single.  He would score on a double by Harold Ramirez.  The Jammers went ahead 4-0 when Jhang singled home Ramirez.  Jamestown would tack on another in the ninth to round out the scoring.

The Scrappers (0-1) and Jammers (1-0) will play Tuesday and Wednesday evenings at Eastwood Field to complete the season-opening three game set.

Ted Kubiak Will Reassemble Scrappers Puzzle From Top To Bottom


As a new year of Mahoning Valley Scrappers baseball gets ready to move forward each season, a whole new cast of characters appears, usually in the form of players.  Minor League Baseball is the melting pot of sports.  There are plenty of Latino prospects mixed with the Americans.  There is an Australian catcher – it is the usual array of language and customs being assimilated in the Youngstown area.

Scrappers Manager Ted Kubiak (above) has some additional pieces of the puzzle to assemble this season.  Last years hitting and pitching coaches, Tony Manzilino and Greg Hibbard, have been reassigned by the Indians organization.  Enter Shaun Larkin and Scott Erickson as the new hitting and pitching coaches.


Erickson spent last season at the AA level for the Indians in Carolina.  Erickson was a very successful big league pitcher who threw for 15 years.  He came up with the Minnesota Twins, and later pitched for the Baltimore Orioles.  He has a World Series title and a wealth of experience to offer the Scrappers.

“I am happy to be here”, said Erickson.  “This is going to be a little different in the sense that when I was at Double A last season, the pitchers thought they were good enough to be that high.  Obviously, they aren’t in the majors yet, so they needed some work.  At this level, it is going to be more of a teaching process.  Once we analyze what the pitchers are good with, we can focus on their weaknesses and make them better.”

“Scott is a great addition to the staff”, said Kubiak.  “He is a great pitching coach and we are lucky to have him here.  He will be a great supervisor of our pitching staff this season and I think the players will benefit from what he will offer.”


Shaun Larkin is no stranger to Eastwood Field.  Larkin was a Scrapper and played here in 2002.  This will be his first shot at coaching and he is happy that it is in a familiar surrounding.

“Ted didn’t know it was me on the phone”, recalled Larkin.  “I called to let him know that the Indians organization was offering me a chance, and he was very surprised, but warm to the idea.  He is a great manager and I got to play for him here in 2002.”

“Coach Larkin will do well with us”, declared Kubiak.  “He is a positive presence and has already offered good input through our meetings.  He will do just fine.”

So Kubiak faces all of the changes with open arms and knows that this team will be exciting.

“They will play hard, they will not showboat, and will want to win”, said Kubiak.

Eddie Money Exclusive Interview

Eddie Money was an MTV Pioneer.  He was a consistent chart holder throughout the 80’s.  He was a wild, “no control” showing animal.  He typified how the music industry can be conquered, and this Friday, he is coming to Warren to play those hits that mark his legacy in the music industry.  Los Gallos and Coors Light are backing Eddie Pannuti in welcoming the Money Man back to the area to do a Relay For Life benefit concert.

Paneech:  Do you get excited about coming to the Youngstown – Warren area?

Money:  I’m very excited about coming back to that area.  I have befriended the Debartolo family over the years.  I have played golf there and they have some of the best ice cream I have ever eaten.  It is one of those stops on the tour where I feel like I have a strong connection with a certain group of people and I love that area, like a certain pocket of the country.  I am really looking forward to playing there.

Paneech:  Walk me through the transition of going from a cop to a rock star.

Money:  My father and grandfather were NYPD officers and my brother is now.  I was against the Vietnam War and my brother was there.  I was kind of stuck because I really didn’t want to go to college.  I ended up working on the force for a little period of time and then moved to Southern California to attend UC Berkeley.  I caught a few breaks and got a big push from Bill Graham and Columbia Records.  Next thing I knew, I was doing Saturday Night Live and Midnight Special.

Paneech:  With a touch of law enforcement, comment on the terrorism that America is unfortunately fearing these days.

Money:  The world is becoming a very confusing place.  There is a lot of bad in the world these days and ever since 9/11, Rock and Roll has become the remedy.  I feel like I am doing my part by playing my 14 hits that were on the Billboard Hot List.  (Laughs) When I am sober, I do real good stuff.

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Paneech:  What is your favorite Eddie Money song that you look forward to playing?

Money:  I like to play whatever the people want to hear.  Take Me Home Tonight is a big crowd favorite.  I like to play that song, I also really like to play Shakin’ and Two Tickets To Paradise.  Ultimately, whatever the audience wants, is what I want to play.

Paneech:  What sports do you like to watch, and who are your favorite teams?

Money:  I am a sports junkie.  I watch baseball, basketball, and football.  I ran the mile in high school – right around the five minute mark, that made me the fastest kid in school.  I also played soccer.  As far as the pros go – I like Kobe Bryant and Steve Nash.  I am not a big Lebron James fan, but geez, he is amazing to be that big, strong, and quick.  I follow the Mets and the Giants baseball teams pretty close too.  How about this Matt Harvey for the Mets?  He threw good again last night.

Paneech:  What do you like to listen to?

Money:  I have a pretty wide range.  I like to listen to Judy Collins.  I also like Jimi Hendrix, the Beatles, the Stones, the Kinks, and on and on.  I get caught humming the newer stuff sometimes because of my kids.  If we are driving in the car somewhere, I get forced into Lil’ Wayne sometimes.

Paneech:  Who is your best friend in music?

Money:  My drummer – Glenn Symmonds.  We just found out that he has cancer and it breaks my heart.  I don’t want to get all emotional, but he has been a great friend and now faces the biggest fight of his life.

Paneech:  You recently did a spot for Geico (above).  How many takes before they said Two Tickets sounded good enough?

Money:  (Laughs)  It was an adventure, that’s for sure.  Originally, there was a woman at another desk.  We fired her and she isn’t in the commercial.  We did 30 takes.  Somewhere in the high teens, a bird flew into the shot and that got scrapped.  We ended up keeping the one that my wife thought I sounded pitchy on.  Today is her birthday, and she is not in a great mood.

Paneech:  Who are your favorite people to play for?

Money:  Without question, the people in uniform who represent our great country.  On my website, there is a single called One More Soldier Coming Home.  All of the proceeds from that single are being donated to The Intrepid Fallen Heroes Group.  You know, I met a group of Marines and we decided to head to a bar.  Let me tell you, those Marines can drink.  It was actually my honor to spend that time with them, I have so much respect for all of the men and women who defend the United States.

Paneech:  How big of a boost did the emergence of MTV give your career?

Money:  It was huge, and the break I got was that very few were smart enough to realize the impact MTV would have.  I was a top dog.  Me and Huey Lewis.  Looking back at the Shakin’ video, I kind of looked like a singing shoe salesman.

Paneech:  What can you attribute the success to?

Money:  It is a tough business to crack.  As an artist, you will get chewed up and spit out.  My kids already think that they are going to be famous.  It is a stressful process filled with hard work that ultimately ends up being a lot of fun.  You need to get lucky and catch your share of breaks.


One Word Answers with Eddie Money

Favorite TV Show:  Sportscenter.

Biggest Phobia:  Heights (Acrophobia).

Amount of Hours You Sleep Per Night:  Eight.

Favorite Cartoon Character:  Yosemite Sam.

Favorite Movie:  The Godfather.

Fast Food Destination And Order:  Taco Bell.  I get two tacos and I used to love the beef burritos when they had the green sauce, but it disappeared.

Plug For The Concert at The Warren Amphitheater:  I’ve got two tickets for all of the fans in Warren and Youngstown.  It is going to be a fun show and I hope to pack the place.  It is circled in my datebook.

Kendrick Perry Named To National Top Ten List


National recognition is something that Kendrick Perry should get used to this season. The rest of the country is going to realize what the extended Horizon League fan base already knows – this guy is real good.

Perry, a YSU senior, has been named one of the Top Ten Mid-Major Point Guards to Watch in 2013-14 by, the website release on Thursday.

Perry, a two-time All-Horizon League First-Team selection, was selected National Association of Basketball Coaches (NABC) All-District First Team and Named All-Horizon League First-Team in 2012-13.  Named to 2013 Cousy Award Watch List, Perry was named the 2013 YSU/Vindicator Male Athlete of the Year.

He ranked second in the Horizon League with 17.3 points per game and tied for the league lead with 1.9 steals per game. He also ranked fifth in the Horizon League with a .845 free-throw percentage, sixth with 4.1 assists per game and 10th with 5.5 rebounds per game.

Perry led the Penguins to an 18-16 overall record last season, the most win for the program since 2000-01, and Youngstown State first Division I postseason berth in the CIT.  The Penguins also recorded the program’s first win over a BCS opponent, a 68-59 win over Georgia. Perry scored a team-high 23 points with six rebounds, five assists and four steals against the Bulldogs.

He ranks 17th in school history with 1,309 career points, third all-time with 170 career steals (school record is 182), fifth with 365 career assists, eighth with 139 career 3-pointers made and tied for 9th with 314 career free throws made.

Phantoms To Stay At Covelli Centre


The Youngstown Phantoms have reached an agreement to remain at the Covelli Centre for a fifth season, team owner Bruce J. Zoldan announced today. The agreement ensures the Phantoms will continue play and practice at the downtown Youngstown arena through the 2013-14 United States Hockey League season, and lays the groundwork for extending the franchise’s lease at the facility through future seasons.

“We are very excited to reach a resolution and continue moving forward with this season and beyond,” Zoldan said. “I would like to personally thank [Covelli Centre executive director] Eric Ryan and [Youngstown Mayor] Charles Sammarone for their commitment to our franchise, and we are eager to continue working with them as we look to begin negotiations on a new arena lease.

“I would also like to sincerely thank our fans for their unbridled passion and support for hockey in the Mahoning Valley and at the Covelli Centre. Our franchise made tremendous strides this past season and we look forward to taking the next step and bringing the Clark Cup to the city of Youngstown and this top-class facility.”

Last season under second-year head coach Anthony Noreen, the Phantoms set franchise records for wins (37) and home wins (19), and went undefeated at the Covelli Centre during the 2013 playoffs. They came within a game of advancing to the Clark Cup Finals, falling 3-2 to the eventual champion Dubuque Fighting Saints in the Eastern Conference Finals.

The Phantoms are currently holding their 2013 Selection Camp to determine their roster for the 2013-14 season at the Ice Zone in Boardman. Intrasquad games will be held Saturday, June 8 through Monday, June 10 and are free and open to the public. Visit for a full game schedule and additional information.